Wednesday, January 29, 2003

State of the Speech-Makers

I watched the American State of the Union address last night, seeing as how important this particular speech may be to the immediate future of world politics. I wouldn't really consider myself a political person, exactly, but I perk my ears up and take notice whenever a major world event is underway. I promised myself I wouldn't leak politics into the blog, but sometimes you have to say something.

First off, Bush still scares the pants off me. I'm not sure he has even the slightest notion that his actions may lead to an all-out world war. His arrogance appalls me, and I expect that many of the world leaders agree with me. It was like Bush was wearing a T-shirt saying "I'm American, and yes--that does make me better than you." Can he truly believe that the United States is God's appointed hand of Earthly justice? I'm sorry, but the idea of the United States dictating international policy has always concerned me.

Two things in particular made me choke on my 7-Up last night:

a) Bush's pronunciation of the word nuclear as “nuke-you-ler,” over and over and over again, proving that it was no simple slip of the tongue. What, are we in third grade, here? It's pronounced "nu-klee-ar," you neanderthal. And this is the man poised at the launch button of the most lethal arsenal in the world. Of course, maybe he's just a much bigger Simpsons fan than I thought he was.

b) The United States is throwing 15 billion dollars at Africa and the Caribbean to treat AIDS cases. On paper, this seems like a great idea. But in reality, only the most naive analysts would see this as an altruistic gesture. I mean, really, what country could remain anti-American after the yanks swoop in with their bag full of sweaty money and treat a million of their dying citizens? It's also a band-aid solution. Instead of spending 15 billion dollars on medication to treat AIDS and HIV, why not spend that money looking for a cure and completely wipe out the disease worldwide? The answer: if they did that, how could they continue to keep the developing countries of the world pinned under their thumb? I'm sure AIDS can be beaten, and yet now, once again, the disease is being used for political leverage. And millions of innocent people may pay the price.

I don't want the world to go to war. As a student of history, I know that humanity's chances of surviving another world war are close to nil. And yet, all I see from the leadership of the United States is reckless aggression, arrogance, and an unwarranted feeling of pride and vindication.

The words of Stan Lee come to me all of a sudden: "with great power comes great responsibility." Sure, he was talking about Spiderman, but it also applies to world politics. However, there's a fine line between acting to preserve peace and acting to exert control and exact revenge, and that's part of where the responsibility part comes in. No matter what the United States intentions are, good or bad, if the rest of the world thinks they're acting irresponsibly, we could end up in a whole pile of trouble. And all that saber-rattling, pep-talk propaganda that the world heard last night sure didn't make matters any better, I'd bet.

Just my two cents. I promise no more political stuff until, oh, at least next week. Honest.


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